Photo/Zac Chamblee

After losing five in a row, the Purvis Lady Tornadoes needed a win Friday, and they played like it in the second half. Michael Thornton’s squad rallied from a five-point, third quarter deficit with a 28-10 scoring run, surging to a 45-32 win over FCAHS on the road. 

Karson Suire and Elise Jackson led Purvis with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Their shots were simply bound to start falling. 

“The last two games, we have not shot the ball well, but tonight I thought we played well in the second half and shot the ball better,” Thornton said. “Also, we were much better at the free throw line tonight than we’ve been this season. We were 17-for-24 there.

“This was a good win. It was the first time since I’ve been here at Purvis that we’ve beaten Forrest County at Forrest County.”

With the win, the Lady Tornadoes improved to 18-8 on the season and snapped that five-game losing streak. In that span, they played defending Class 4A champion Lawrence County close for two quarters and currently unbeaten Stone County to the final buzzer. Both experiences helped make Friday’s game feel like a must-win. 



“I told them over 30 years I’ve been a head coach, I’ve never had a team 17-8 that needed a win as much as we needed it tonight,” Thornton said. “We needed it and wanted to get our confidence back going into the last week of the season.”

Purvis will host Lawrence County next Tuesday and travel to Sumrall on Friday to close out the regular season. After that, the focus will be on the Region 7-4A Tournament at Poplarville. Thornton says his team has plenty to work on between now and then. 

“We’ve gotta do a better job taking care of the basketball, because we make too many turnovers,” he said. “But we have a very young team with no seniors, so I think the future is bright for Purvis girls basketball.”